By Zhong Sheng, People's Daily
It is reported that Washington is currently preparing for the second "Summit for Democracy."
The United States refuses to acknowledge the many problems and institutional crises confronting its democracy at home, but monopolizes the definition and interpretation of democracy globally, concocts and plays up the false narrative of "democracy versus authoritarianism," and points fingers at and makes irresponsible remarks on other countries.
Such practice undermined democracy in the name of defending it, which cannot hide the real designs of the U.S. -- to maintain its hegemony by playing bloc politics and using democracy as a tool for political ends.
The so-called myth of democracy built by the U.S. has long been shattered. With the intensification of political polarization, the country's political ecology keeps deteriorating.
The farce of failing to elect the 118th House speaker lasted four days and a decision was only reached after 15 rounds of voting.
Even the U.S. Supreme Court, an institution undergirding the country's Constitution, failed to escape partisan warfare. Its decision on the removal of constitutional protections for women's abortion rights mirrored the huge chasm between "two Americas" -- the conservatives and liberals.
A serious "inflation" is observed in U.S. political donations. The latest illustration is the 2022 midterm elections. The whole exercise has a price tag of more than $16.7 billion, a historical high dwarfing the 2021 GDPs of more than 70 countries.
"Freedom of speech" in the U.S. is in name only. Any speech that is detrimental to the interests of the U.S. government or capital is subject to strict restrictions.
The American-style democracy is becoming more expensive to run and less efficient to govern. There has been a steady fall in the number of laws successive U.S. Congresses could enact -- from 4,247 by the 93rd to 98th Congresses down to 2,081 by the 111th to 116th.
The above indicates that the U.S. has been deeply trapped in a vicious cycle of democratic pretensions, dysfunctional politics and a divided society.
The maladies afflicting American democracy deeply infected the cells of U.S. politics and society. However, U.S. politicians have neither the courage nor the solution to pursue changes. They keep acting arrogantly, stubbornly claiming their country to be the template and beacon of democracy for the world. Such imperiousness only perpetuates the ills of American democracy.
According to a Quinnipiac University poll, 67 percent of respondents believe that American democracy is in danger of collapse. The Brookings Institution concludes in a 2022 report that the once proud American democracy is facing a systemic crisis and is accelerating its decline.
The hegemonic, domineering and bullying acts of the U.S., which are in the name of so-called democracy, are in fact the very opposite of democracy.
Clinging to the Cold War mentality and inciting ideological confrontation, the U.S. cobbled together values-based alliances such as AUKUS, the Quad and the Five Eyes and concocted the false narrative of "democracy versus authoritarianism" for its geopolitical goals.
In 2021, the U.S. held the first "Summit for Democracy," attempting to divide the international community into so-called "democratic and undemocratic camps" by openly drawing an ideological line. The move drew wide criticism from the international community and ended with little support.
However, Washington turned a deaf ear to the criticism and insists on holding the second "Summit for Democracy," which is a natural reaction to the U.S. foreign policy dominated by confrontations and the Cold War mentality.
Doha-based Al Jazeera observed that the U.S. insistence on holding a democracy summit and acting as a global democratic leader even when trust in its own democratic system is declining has raised widespread suspicion.
Its hysteria to export U.S.-style democracy and values continues unabated, which brings only turbulence and chaos to the world.
The country has long revealed its true face of maintaining its hegemony under the guise of democracy. Former U.S. Congressman Dennis Kucinich said during a recent anti-war rally in Washington, D.C. that the U.S. government does not have the capacity to heal the division in the nation, nor the willingness to end conflicts peacefully.
Its greatest talent is to craft misinformation and disinformation and misuse it as an instrument to incite fear and hatred among U.S. citizens, exciting partisan divisions at home and stirring hatred abroad through lies, deceit, false flag operations and provocations which profane the very essence of democracy, Kucinich noted.
Democracy is a common value of humanity and must not be used as a tool to advance geopolitical agenda. The world today needs to advocate genuine democracy and reject pseudo-democracy, support countries in developing democracy that suits their respective national conditions and jointly promote greater democracy in international relations.
The U.S. should understand that those who have many flaws themselves have little credibility to lecture others. Attempts to undermine others for one's own profit and destabilize the world must be unanimously opposed.
(Zhong Sheng is a pen name often used by People's Daily to express its views on foreign policy and international affairs.)